I made a necklace. When you say the title, notice there's no exclamation point, say it kind of flatly. What's the story behind this? We often travel to the east to visit family, which we love doing, and also, the drive is a long slog across America, so ...

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“Oh, the Places You’ll Go” Necklace by Elaine Luther and more...

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go” Necklace by Elaine Luther

"Oh, the Places You'll Go" Necklace by Elaine Luther, copyright Elaine Luther 2016. Detail.

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go” Necklace by Elaine Luther, copyright Elaine Luther 2016. Detail.

I made a necklace. When you say the title, notice there’s no exclamation point, say it kind of flatly.

What’s the story behind this? We often travel to the east to visit family, which we love doing, and also, the drive is a long slog across America, so many tollroads that all look the same, with the same roadside stops.

One thing we do to break up the monotony for the kids is let them choose and buy a squished penny. Yes, they really sell souvenir squished pennies at the oasis stops on the toll road! (I always see other kids begging for one, but their parents are less fun than we are, apparently.)

A few years ago, I started buying them for myself too, not just for my kids. By this year I’d saved up more than enough to make a necklace.

In the grand tradition of my art about #firstworldproblems, this one is lamenting my lack of travel to far away and glamorous places.

Alright, that’s the back story, let’s see some close up shots.

"Oh, the Places You'll Go" Necklace by Elaine Luther, copyright Elaine Luther 2016. Detail showing Ohio Turnpike souvenir penny and bronze ice cream cone.

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go” Necklace by Elaine Luther, copyright Elaine Luther 2016. Detail showing Ohio Turnpike souvenir penny and bronze ice cream cone.

"Oh, the Places You'll Go" Necklace by Elaine Luther, copyright Elaine Luther 2016. Detail.

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go” Necklace by Elaine Luther, copyright Elaine Luther 2016. Detail.

"Oh, the Places You'll Go" Necklace by Elaine Luther, copyright Elaine Luther 2016. Detail.

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go” Necklace by Elaine Luther, copyright Elaine Luther 2016. Detail.

"Oh, the Places You'll Go" Necklace by Elaine Luther, copyright Elaine Luther 2016. Detail showing souvenir penny and bronze jack.

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go” Necklace by Elaine Luther, copyright Elaine Luther 2016. Detail showing souvenir penny and bronze jack.

Materials: Bronze chain, rosary chain with glass beads, bronze toggle clasp, pennies, bronze finish brass jump rings, brass circle pendant, cast bronze jack and ice cream cone, steel wire shaped into circles, and a rock.

All images and the necklace itself are Copyright Elaine Luther 2016.

    
 



Easy Resizing of Photos for When You’re Entering Shows, Finally!

Every time I submit an application that requires photos, the size requirements are different! And I do this just infrequently enough that I forget how to resize photos in Photoshop.

Perhaps you find this whole thing as frustrating as I do?

Last week, I was working on an application and thought, “There should really be an app that makes this easier!”

And guess what there is!

Here’s a web-based option:

Picresize Screenshot

http://picresize.com

Yes, it’s cluttered with lots of tacky ads, but it’s quick and super simple to use. You can specify exactly the pixel size you want, which was very helpful, since that’s what I needed. You can’t get very exact in terms of the dpi, which matters if the place you’re applying to has specified an exact dpi.

The site offers the qualities, “good, better, best.”

For the photo I tested, their “better” quality turned out to appear to be 72 dpi, but that may not be exact enough for your needs.

If you want to be more exact, or if you want to resize a whole folder of pictures at once, iResize is free and easy to use.

iResize Logo

iResize Logo

https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/13039/iresize

The application I was working on was for an artist in residency and they wanted 12 photos. I exported my 12 photos from Photos to a folder on the desktop, then dragged the folder into iResize, specified the size I wanted and boom! With the click of a button, it was done!

It gives you choices in how to name the newly sized images, so I could tell which ones were my sized photos and which ones were my originals.

It does the job and for free! I love it! If you give it a try or have something similar to recommend for PCs, please leave a comment, thanks!

    
 



Art and Craft Fairs 101

My booth at an indoor show.

My booth at an indoor show.

It’s craft fair season and yesterday I got questions from two people in real life about what’s involved in doing your first show. Here’s a post to answer them, share resources and share that with you too, dear reader.

The first and most important thing about any show is walking the show first. Walk the show before you apply for it, see who is in attendance, who’s buying, what’s being bought (if anything). Yes, this may mean waiting a year before you have a chance to do the show.

Exception: sometimes you choose to do an inexpensive show just as a personal deadline for you to make a lot of work, or get that booth designed and purchased. If you do that, you know that you’re taking a risk with regard to sales and you keep it in perspective.

What do I personally look for in an outdoor show? No music, no entertainment, I want buy craft or art to be the primary entertainment of the show. I look for an entry fee to get into the show. If people have to pay to get in, that indicates a level of seriousness about buying.

So, you’ve decided to do this show, you’ve got plenty to sell, but you need a booth.

Luann Udell, one of my favorite jewelry bloggers, has written a book about booth design:

Good Booth sGone Bad book cover, by Luann Udell

Good Booths Gone Bad by Luann Udell

You can also check out her posts on booth design on her blog.

Another go-to resource on booth design for anyone selling jewelry is Bruce Baker. If you haven’t ever heard him speak at a conference, you can buy his DVDs on booth design and selling.

What about a tent?
Many people start out with an EZ-up (or similar design) tent. There’s a reason these are nicknamed EZ-down tents by craftspeople. While they are perfect for a little sun protection in a backyard party, when doing a craft show, your tent is protecting not only you, but also your work and all those booth elements you so carefully designed.

More expensive tents, such as the Light-Dome, are sturdier, don’t allow water too pool on the roof, and have four zippered sides (as an optional add-on purchase).

Why would you want sides on your tent?
You might want to block the view behind your tent, to help customers focus on your beautiful jewelry. This is almost always a good idea.

At some shows, there is security overnight, and you can move all your display elements to the center (if necessary) of the tent and zip up all four walls, for protection against the weather.

Weights
Many craft shows are held on streets that are closed off for the show, so you’ll need a way to tie down your booth that doesn’t involve using tent pegs. One way to do this is to use containers of water that you tie to each leg, to weigh down the tent.

Some craftshow regulars make their own weights by filling a PVC pipe with concrete and embedding an steel loop in one end, so they can attach the weight to the tent. Remember to also have extra straps to secure your weights so that customers aren’t injured by them.

Basic Pedestals from EasyPedestals.com

Basic Pedestals from EasyPedestals.com

I have a number of resources in the Doing Craft Shows category here on this blog, including foldable columns, risers from the food industry that I think would work well for jewelry, and more!

Once you’ve designed a terrific booth and bought or borrowed all of the elements, and you’ve listened to Bruce’s DVD on selling techniques, you might want to learn how to get troublesome people, who won’t be buying, out of your booth. Luann Udell has that covered in her second book, Good Booths Gone Bad.

And finally, get help! Especially for your very first show, use the buddy system; pay a friend to come along and work with you. Even if it’s not your first show, you’ll need a friend so you can take bathroom and meal breaks.

Final tips
Care for yourself – make sure you’ll be hydrated, fed and will be wearing comfortable shoes.

If you can manage it, and the show allows it, adding flooring to your booth that soothes sore feet, can be a welcoming feature for your customers that may have them wanting to stay in your booth just a little bit longer. Your feet will thank you too.

Envision every aspect of the day and make sure you’ve covered everything. Do you have packaging for once work is purchased? Does the buyer have your contact information, so they can return and collect more of your work?

What else? Do you have any tips, dear readers? What have I left out? Have you ever forgotten an essential item when doing a show?
___________________________________________________________________________

This post was published by Elaine Luther on All Things Metal Clay on July 13, 2016.

    
 



Affordable (kinda) Resin 3D Printing is Finally Here

Image of Prints from the Form 2

Image of Prints from the Form 2

3D printer is certainly fun and cool, but so far, the quality has not been good enough for casting jewelry. Resin, as opposed to the plastic on a spool that many 3D printers use, is a better printing material for jewelry.

These have been around, but pricey. The newest Gesswein brochure introduces the formLabs Form 2 and it says the prints are ready to use for direct investment casting.

“Print your design using Castable Resin, engineered for a smooth finish and clean burnout, perfect for direct investment casting.”

and it says that if you have a client for a custom job, they can try on the resin print.

http://www.gesswein.com/p-12146-formlabs-form-2.aspx

More info. and a video here:

http://formlabs.com/products/3d-printers/form-2

Oh, and the price? What’s “affordable?” $3,350.00. That’s more than the ready to go out of the box Up Mini at Inventables, which goes for about $900.00, but the print quality is in a whole different league.

    


Here’s a fun art project I created, Kirigami Prayer Flags!

Kirigami Prayer Flags by Elaine Luther as installed on porch

Kirigami Prayer Flags by Elaine Luther as installed on porch.

When I’m not making jewelry, I’m teaching art workshops at libraries and health care centers. My students really enjoyed this project, so I’ve made it available for sale as a tutorial with 114 pictures!

    


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